A man with tattoos and riders with commemorative charity ride patches have been refused service in a Queensland pub and restaurant fearing they are bikies, according to Australian Motorcycle Council chairman Shaun Lennard (pictured).
He says these incidents have created a “sense of urgency” about their fighting fund to challenge the world’s toughest anti-bikie laws.
The AMC has now finalised bank red tape and set up the fund with donations already coming in.
“I hope to have an idea of how much has been raised by noon tomorrow and I hope to have a weekly update of money raised,” Shaun says.
The money will be used solely to support any challenge to the raft of anti-bikie laws introduced by the Queensland Government last month.
Shaun says he believes motorcycle clubs will arrange fundraising events to donate money to the fighting fund.
“I have no idea what will come in, but we want to be quite open about it,” he says.
“If we find we are getting a reasonable amount of money coming in it will send out a positive message to the community of the level of support against these laws.”
Shaun says a High Court challenge to the Vicious Lawless Associations Disestablishment (VLAD) Act or the amended Tattoo Parlour or Criminal Law acts could cost as much as $350,000 to $500,000.
A previous High Court challenge to NSW bikie laws cost $380,000.
Shaun says all money in the account will be used to fight the laws and only bank fees would be deducted. The account will be closed on June 2016 unless the challenge is still ongoing.
Donations can be made by online transfer, branch desposit, cheque or money order. Shaun says they are also working on an online PayPal option which should be up and running this week.
Cheques and money orders should be made payable to the AMC at PO Box 21122, Little Lonsdale St, 8011.
Name of account: Australian Motorcycle Council
Bank: Commonwealth Bank
FIGHTING FUND RULES
These are the rules for the AMC’s fighting fund account to collect donations to support any High Court action against the Queensland laws introduced on 17 October 2013:
1. All monies donated up until 30 June 2016 are quarantined to support High Court action against the new Queensland laws introduced on 17 October 2013, subject to all the following additional rules 2-8.
2. All interest earned on monies donated is retained in the fund.
3. There is no provision for donations to the fund to be refunded.
4. Approval for any expenditure from the fund must be given by at least 80% vote (4 of 5 at the time the fund is established) of AMC executive members (or their replacement/s as per Rule 6).
5. Any balance remaining in the account as at 30 June 2016 will be retained for the purposes of Rule 1 if High Court action remains underway, or may be otherwise allocated if approved as per Rule 4.
6. If any executive member is directly involved with any High Court challenge, they will not take part in any decision on fund expenditure, and will replaced by an AMC member delegate chosen by the remaining executive members.
7. The AMC’s financial support for any action is limited to the monies held in the fund.
8. None of the above rules can be altered. Additional rules may be added, but they cannot contradict any of the above.
On October 15, the Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie introduced three Acts into the Queensland Legislative Assembly which were passed within hours.
The Criminal Law (Criminal Organisations Disruption) Amendment Bill 2013 creates a number of new classes of crime, making it illegal to take part in any kind of activity related to an outlaw motorcycle club and ensure that members of these clubs are punished more harshly for various crimes than other offenders.
The Tattoo Parlours Act 2013 makes it illegal for bikies to own tattoo parlours or wear their club colours in pubs.
The Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Bill 2013 specifies a list of bikie gangs that are now illegal and a list of their premises that are now proscribed.